Bina Das is a well-known revolutionary from Bengal, who is counted amongst the fiercest of female Indian freedom fighters. She participated vehemently in the national freedom struggle; and even after independence, she took part in politics. Her life is an example of sincere love for the motherland.
Her father, Beni Madhab Das was a teacher. He was the headmaster of a college in Cuttack (Orissa). Her mother, Sarala Devi was an active social worker, who worked relentlessly for the welfare of poor women. She was born in Krishnanagar (Bengal province) in British India on 24th August, 1941. Her parents were followers of Brahmo Samaj.
This community was led by the teachings of Raja Ram Mohan Roy and that is why Bina Das was imparted ardent nationalist values since her childhood. She was schooled in anti-imperialist principles during her initial years and these teachings shaped her revolutionary mindset.
She finished her schooling at St. John’s Diocesan Girl’s Higher Secondary School.
Role in the freedom struggle
Since her early years, Bina Das showed her support for self-rule. She was highly influenced by the views of Mahatma Gandhi. Following his call, she gave up the use of foreign goods and started using the charkha. She stood for handspun cotton and persuaded everyone to spin their own fabric.
She was an active member of the semi-revolutionary group called Chhatri Sangha in Kolkata. This association was entirely made of female students. During her membership years, she happened to meet Subhash Chandra Bose, the extremist freedom fighter, who later formed the Indian National Army.
In 1928, she took part in the Calcutta session of the Indian National Congress. She became a member of the volunteers’ corps. In 1927-1928, the British government sent the Simon Commission for establishing the process of constitutional reforms in India; Bina Das joined the protest against its all-white membership.
Title of Agni Kanya
In 1932, she showed her dedication towards the freedom struggle by attempting to assassinate the Governor General Stanley Jackson. When she was being conferred her BA (English), Bina Das fired five shots but missed her target. She was arrested and given rigorous punishment of 9 years. Her extremely courageous act won her the name of Agni Kanya.
In 1939, she was released from prison and she joined the Indian National Congress. She gained the position of Secretary in South Calcutta Congress Committee.
Active participation in the freedom struggle
In 1942, Congress launched the Quit Movement and Bina Das took part in it. She received a sentence of 3 years in prison. In 1946, riots between Hindus and Muslims broke out in in Noakhali (eastern Bengal). She initiated relief work and started schools for the riot-affected under the leadership of Sucheta Kriplani. During 1946-47, she enjoyed the membership of Bengal Provincial Legislative Assembly.
In 1947, she got married to a revolutionary from the Jugantar party named Jatish Chandra Bhaumick. One of her notable activities after independence was to lead a strike on behalf of the workers’ union of Amrita Bazaar Patrika. She also took part in the freedom struggle of eastern Pakistan.
During her later years, she withdrew from political participation. She expired on 26th December, 1986 in Ranikhet.